Captain Marvel Wins Box Office

“Captain Marvel” Blasts the Competition with Huge Opening Weekend


March 8-10, 2019

(estimates from


Captain Marvel  $153.0 million
How to Train Your Dragon:
The Hidden World 
$14.6 million
A Madea Family Funeral $12.0 million
The LEGO Movie 2 $3.8 million
Alita: Battle Angel  $3.2 million

Take that, trolls. Captain Marvel took flight, cruising over all its competition. Opening with an estimated $153 million, that's the biggest debut of the year, and already the highest-grossing movie of 2019 in just three days. Taking international grosses into account, it did even better. Adding in that $302 million, that's the fifth-biggest foreign debut and sixth-best overall debt ever. Not just for the MCU. Ever. Period. There's still plenty of genuine discussion to be had over the quality of the film, but there's no denying it's a massive success with no caveats necessary.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World slipped to second place, and it's now clear that despite having the best debut of the trilogy, it's going to make far less than its predecessors. At this point, even $150 million feels out of reach. With this and The LEGO Movie 2 not even at $100 million yet, it hasn't been a great year for animated movies so far, but of course Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2 will probably make more than $100 million on their opening weekends each.

A Madea Family Funeral dropped to third, but still has a chance at vaulting into the top 5 of Madea movies. It's currently in the middle of the pack after just two weeks, so it's likely it can get to $60 million and pass Why Did I Get Married Too? If it can get to $65 million, it can pass Madea's Witness Protection for the third spot. Alita: Battle Angel suffered the most from Captain Marvel's opening. Weirdly pitted against the MCU entry by jerks online – which even fans of the movie didn't appreciate – it dropped more than 55 percent. It's now sitting at $78 million here, and has only made internationally after several weeks what Captain Marvel did this weekend.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Gloria Bell, Sebastián Lelio's remake of his own romantic drama. Julianne Moore has been getting rave reviews for her performance, and the film averaged $30,955 on each of its five screens.
  • In its fourth weekend of release, Happy Death Day 2U has now caught up with what its predecessor made its first weekend. Congratulations!
  • It technically reached it last week, but The Upside crossed $100 million, which is pretty impressive. Along with The Mule, it was one of the rare films of recent years to take six weeks to get there.

Next week:

No one wants to challenge Captain Marvel, so she'll reign again, this time with about $68 million. Captive State, Five Feet Apart and Wonder Park won't even make $10 million.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.